Public schools students were celebrated as 162 of them received scholarships to attend international colleges and universities in the United States of America and Canada. The scholarships were granted through the Public School Scholars Programme (PSSP) by the Ministry of Education, which along with its partners is offering approximately $2 million in scholarships for the 2018 academic year. The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, joined school administrators, teachers, parents, representatives of partnering colleges and universities, and officials from the Ministry of Education at the award ceremony, Friday, June 22, at the National Training Agency. Minister Lloyd called on the awardees to adopt several life principles. He urged them to never lose their spirit of gratitude, always be humble, and to make it happen. “The country has invested in you. We want a very sizeable return,” said Minister Lloyd. “You don’t have to give us a dollar but you must give us your best. Explore, enjoy, advance yourself and be qualified. Come back home. This is where your navel string is buried,” he said.
The majority of the awardees were the first in their families to have the opportunity to receive tertiary education and represent New Providence and seven Family Islands. Three of them, namely, Lauren Albury of Anatol Rodgers High School, Omar Davis of C. I. Gibson High School and Shawnteish Johnson of R. M. Bailey High School, shared stirring journeys to becoming public school scholars. Ricardo Deveaux, Under Secretary in the Ministry of Education, gave special remarks to the recipients. He said, “You must have a dream. The power of the dream must be ‘I will leave The Bahamas to begin a new life, a new journey,’ and this new journey must take you to a new place. The are no guarantees, but the college experience is one you will benefit from. “Be a student, make the required GPA and maintain your scholarships. Make an impact. Get involved in campus activities, get to know college administrators, leave a legacy so they will know a young man or young lady from The Bahamas walked this campus.” Also participating was Tamika Taylor, on behalf of the parents of the awardees; Dr. Alyson Gill, provost, University of the Ozarks; and Monique Hinsey, Administrator, PSSP. The PSSP was designed to motivate, elevate and transform the lives of Bahamian public school graduates to obtain a college education through the Ministry of Education and partnerships with international colleges and universities in the Caribbean, US, Canada, and Europe.